The Arizona Cardinals have been collecting key pieces for a title run and former NFL wide receiver turned analyst Brandon Marshall thinks it would make sense for the NFC West contender to pursue polarizing Cleveland Browns pass-catcher Odell Beckham Jr.
“Where is he rehabbing right now?” Marshall said on FS1’s First Things First. “Phoenix, Arizona.
“He’s going to be on the Cardinals. I know yesterday I talked about the Green Bay Packers, but I am looking at this and I am like JJ Watt just goes there. He’s out there in Arizona falling in love with the weather that JJ Watt is talking about. You’ve got Kyler. You’ve got big dog [DeAndre Hopkins] on the other side. Why wouldn’t you get this done? So, I am going to double down on the Arizona Cardinals. It makes sense.”
But does it make sense? Beckham carries a massive cap hit ($15.75 million) and is coming off a torn ACL, which is yet another serious injury setback for the former Offensive Rookie of the Year. Beckham has missed 25 games since the 2017 season.
Browns Looking Forward to Beckham Getting Healthy
There’s been lots of chatter about Beckham’s future in Cleveland, even with the team rebuffing the speculation at every turn.
Browns executive vice president of football operations and general manager Andrew Berry most recently backed Beckham being a long-term piece in Cleveland during his press conference on Wednesday.
“I will say this about perhaps about all of our injured guys, they are all progressing really well, and that includes Odell. I think he is right on track,” Berry told reporters. “I think he is a dynamic player who can be incredibly productive in this system so we are looking forward to getting him back healthy.”
Beckham had 23 catches on 43 targets for 319 yards and three touchdowns before tearing his ACL in October. He also added a rushing score. What didn’t help his cause was that the Cleveland offense clicked without him as they picked up their first playoff win in more than a quarter-century.
Browns Looking at Options With WR Rashard Higgins
The Browns also have to make a decision on whether or not they want to bring Rashard Higgins back next season. Higgins, who has spent his entire five-year career in Cleveland, is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent this offseason.
Higgins notched 37 catches for 599 yards and four touchdowns last season, excelling in a larger role after Beckham went down. He also managed 16.2 yards per reception — a career-high — and was a solid producer in the postseason, showing off his chemistry with quarterback Baker Mayfield.
“I will not touch on the specific dialogue we have had, but I think it suffices it to say we would like to have Rashard back,” Berry told reporters this week. “He obviously played a key role for us this past year and we have a really positive history with him. Look, free agency can be difficult, and obviously, he has earned the right to make the decision that is most appropriate for him. We will maintain consistently good communication with him and his reps. We will see where it goes.”
Higgins’ market value is $6.1 million annually, per Spotrac. That would likely be more than the Browns would be willing to invest with someone who would be a third wide receiver on a team that likes to run multiple tight end sets. Higgins has made it clear he wants to stay in Cleveland, so perhaps he would be willing to take less money.